Tsgabu Grmay lasted long at the breakaway until the last climb to Col d’Izoard, Sonny won the IS and took 20 points for the green
Second stage victory for Warren Barguil (SUN) who kept the red dots jersey.
Tour de France 2017.
BRIANÇON – IZOARD – 179,5 km / Stage 18
Izoard, France, July 20th
Today’s 18th stage was another hard mountain stage of this year’s Tour de France. Briançon hosted Tour de France for the 34th time and there was great atmosphere and energy for teams and their riders who had to overcome tough climbs – Côte des Demoiselles Coiffées (Cat. 3), Col de Vars (Cat. 1) and the hardest one, Col d’Izoard (HC), that was decisive today.
BAHRAIN MERIDA Pro Cycling team directors had clear instructions for the riders at the bus meeting: to jump in a breakaway if possible, go with the flow and bite the climbs. Tsgabu Grmay and Jani Brajkovič took their chances and jumped, together with Sonny Colbrelli, who used the intermediate sprint to take as many points as possible and with that to stay in the game for the green jersey until Paris.
Sonny Colbrelli reached his goal and passed as first through the intermediate sprint, which brought him 20 points.
Tsgabu Grmay played a good role again like on the 15th stage and like Ondrej Cink yesterday. Tsgabu was in the leading, breakaway group up to the last climb to Col d’Izoard where the “big guys” took over and where the postcard scenes of the natural beauty started to mix with scenes of brutal suffering on the road.
Warren Barguil (SUN) had the most energy for fighting against a long climb of the Col d’Izoard and kept his position as the best classified mountain rider at Tour de France 2017. Highly motivated Alberto Contador went over the breakaway group together with Barguil, but the French rider managed to reach the Col d’Izoard as first and claimed his second victory at this edition of Tour de France.
Credits @MiwaIijima and @Bettiniphoto